Environmental Science

Coordinator: R. Fritz, Biology; Faculty: see Biology, Chemistry, and Geology.

Environmental Science is designed for students who are considering a career or further education in an area of environmental science. Environmental Science consists of a correlate sequence that is structured to allow students to enhance their knowledge in environmental science, to provide them with a solid foundation with which to pursue environmental science in the future, and to expose them to current issues in environmental science and public policy. The way a particular student satisfies the requirements for the correlate sequence is flexible, however, all students must participate in the Environmental Science seminar during their junior or senior year.

Students who elect the Environmental Science correlate sequence must choose a correlate sequence advisor in their correlate department and pursue a correlate option (see below) in one of the participating departments.

Requirements for the Correlate Sequence: 6 units, chosen as described below, are required to complete the correlate sequence. Ordinarily, no courses fulfilling the correlate sequence requirements may be used to satisfy requirements in the student's major.

One 100–level unit, two 200–level units, and one 300–level unit in one of the Correlate Departments: (Biology 151 and 152 and both Chemistry 108 and 109 are required before advancing to the 200–level courses in these departments)

Eligible Courses in Biology: 
Biology 151     Evolution of Biological Diversity (1) 
Biology 208     Plant Structure and Diversity 
Biology 226     Animal Structure and Diversity (1) 
Biology 241     Ecology (1) 
Biology 280     Environmental Science Field Trip* (1) 
Biology 298     Independent Work* (1) 
Biology 350     Evolutionary Biology (1) 
Biology 354     Plant–Animal Interactions (1) 
Biology 356     Aquatic Ecology (1)

Eligible Courses in Chemistry: 
Chemistry 108     General Chemistry (1) 
Chemistry 109     General Chemistry (1) 
Chemistry 244     Organic Chemistry: Structure and Properties (1) 
Chemistry 245     Organic Chemistry: Reactions and Mechanisms (1) 
Chemistry 298     Independent Research* (1) 
Chemistry 335     Advanced Environmental Chemistry (1) 
Chemistry 350     Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics (1) 
Chemistry 362     Instrumental Analysis (1)

Eligible Courses in Geology: 
Geology 151     Earth, Environment and Humanity (1) 
Geology 152     The Evolution of Earth and its Life (1) 
Geology 201     Earth Materials (1) 
Geology 230     Soils and Terrestrial Ecosystems (1) 
Geology 240     Global Geophysics and Tectonics (1) 
Geology 250     Sediments, Strata, and the Environment (1) 
Geology 260     GeomorphologySurface Processes and Evolution of Landforms (1) 
Geology 280     Oil (1) 
Geology 280     Environmental Science Field Trip* (1) 
Geology 298     Independent Work* (1) 
Geology 320     Advanced Topics in Environmental Geology (1) 
Geology 340     Field Geophysics (1) 
Geology 350     Advanced Sedimentology (1) 
Geology 360     Paleoclimatology: Earth's History of Climate Change (1) 
Geology 380     Computer methods and Modeling in Geology (1) 
*With correlate adviser's permission

One unit to be chosen from the following courses or an alternative course approved by the correlate sequence adviser:

Geology 103     Earth System Science and Environmental Justice (1) 
Biology 206     Environmental Biology (also Science, Technology, and Society 206) (1) 
Geography 265     Population, Environment, and Sustainable Development (1) 
Geography 355     Environment and Land–Use Planning (1) 
Economics 267     Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (1)

The following course is required of all students:

Environmental Science 301     Environmental Science Seminar (may be completed in the junior or senior year) (1)

Students are urged to determine in advance if there are prerequisites for courses that will be part of their correlate sequence

Advisers: Biology: Mr. Fritz, Mr. Suter; Geology: Ms. Menking, Mr. McAdoo; Chemistry: Ms. Begemann and Mr. Belli.

Course Offerings 
(See biology, chemistry, and geology)

254a. Field Ecology and Geology of the Bahamas (1)

(Same as Biology 245, Geology 254) Study of significant ecological, geological, and environmental areas on Andros Island, Bahamas. Students and faculty study karst geological features, including current deposition, blue holes, and fossil reefs, sands, coral reef structure and biological diversity, and ecology of mangrove, intertidal, and scrubland habitats. Field trips will study endemic and migrant birds and fish communities. The course involves readings, lectures, and videos for seven weeks prior to the field trip. During Fall Break students and faculty fly to Andros Town, Bahamas and spend from seven to nine days at the George Mason University Field Station studying the field sites. Mr. Fritz, Mr. McAdoo.

Prerequisites: Prior Biology or Geology coursework at the 200–level and permission of instructors is required.

[280. Essentials of Environmental Science] (1)

A lecture/laboratory course in which basic topics in environmental biology, geology, and chemistry are covered with examples from current environmental issues used to illustrate the application and interdisciplinary nature of these fields. This course treats the following topics: energy sources and waste products, atmospheric patterns and climate, biogeochemical cycles, properties of soils and water, and ecological processes. Using these topics as a platform, this course examines the impact humanity has on the environment and discusses strategies to diminish those effects. The laboratory component includes field trips, field investigations, and laboratory exercises.

Two 75–minute periods; one 4–hour laboratory.

Prerequisites: Two 100–level introductory courses in Biology, Geology, or Chemistry or permission of the instructor.

[301b. Environmental Science Seminar] (1)

The Environmental Science Seminar, taken during the junior or senior year consists of critical analyses of current issues in the interdisciplinary field of Environmental Science. Mr. Fritz

One 2–hour period.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor is required.

Not offered in 2001/02.

399. Senior Independent Research (1)

Execution and analysis of a field or laboratory study. The project, to be arranged with an individual instructor, is expected to have a substantial paper as its final product. Open to seniors only.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor is required.